F1 News: Ferrari’s F10 is the most reliable car of 2010
The Sport Review’s round-up of all of the latest news from the world of Formula 1.
Hockenheim broke even following last month’s German Grand Prix. The circuit had agreed a new deal with Bernie Ecclestone to host the race through to 2018 after it appeared they would make considerable losses based on the old deal. Under the old deal, the circuit would have lost €7.2 million.
Ferrari’s F10 is the most reliable car on the grid, finishing an incredible 1471 of the 1474 laps completed so far this year - some 98 more than championship leaders Red Bull, who have had one mechanical failure and two driver crashes.
Nelson Piquet Jr has revealed that Ferrari driver Felipe Massa still blames him for missing out on the 2008 world championship. Lewis Hamilton pipped Massa to the title by one point following a dramatic last lap in the final race at Interlagos, but following the Crashgate scandal, where Piquet Jr revealed he deliberately crashed in Singapore to help Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso win the race, the two Brazilians are no longer on speaking terms.
Mercedes GP will have to replace Nick Heidfeld if he takes up the role as test driver for next season’s tyre supplier Pirelli. The Italian manufacturer is due to begin their F1 testing soon, using the 2009 Toyota TF109.
Organisers of the Korean Grand Prix have again rubbished rumours that the race will not go ahead as planned in October. They maintain the circuit will be officially opened in just under a month, with the Asian Festival Speed due to take place at the end of Septeber. Officials, teams, and sponsors are said to be worried about the political tension in the region, and Bernie Ecclestone has reportedly been sounding out alternative venues in Europe.
Renault are set to upgrade their wind tunnel during the off season to the maximum allowed by the FIA. The Enstone-based team’s wind tunnel and rolling road currently operates to a 50 per cent scale model, but regulations allow them to increase the size to 60 per cent.
Bernie Ecclestone is still open to a second grand prix in the US, despite recently agreeing a deal for a new US Grand Prix in Austin from 2012. Ecclestone is known to fancy a race in New York, and prior to the Austin deal being announced, it was rumoured that the Monticello circuit in New York could be the new venue. Ecclestone has already revealed that the new Austin circuit will be the official US Grand Prix, with any additional race to take a different moniker.
British circuit Donington will reopen with a revival meeting of the Classic Racing Motorsport Club this weekend following the collapse of its attempts to host the British Grand Prix. The Leicestershire track had been unusable when development ground to a halt as leaseholder Donington Ventures went into administration in November. New leaseholders were brought in, and recently the Auto Cycle Union gave the circuit the green light to host races. Further improvements will take place at the circuit over the next four years.
Mariah Carey and Missy Elliott are among the big names set to take the stage at the Singapore Grand Prix this year. The race weekend will feature over 300 performers, with the entire circuit being transformed into the ultimate urban street party with a carnival atmosphere. More importantly, there is also the small matter of the Grand Prix itseld.
Former Ferrari, McLaren and Benetton driver Gerhard Berger has said that racing was much tougher in his day in the 80s and 90s. Berger, who raced with such greats as Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost, and Schumacher, revealed that nobody would have complained about Michael Schumacher squeezing Rubens Barrichello towards the wall, as it happened two or three times a lap without complaint back then.